Woburn Abbey Today

Your Guide to Woburn Abbey

Woburn Abbey first opened to the public in 1955 and has welcomed visitors from all over the globe. There are 22 rooms that you can experience, which house one of the most significant private art collections in the world.

As you explore the many individual rooms of Woburn Abbey, you will also discover 18th-century French and English furniture, magnificent silver and gold collections, in the underground vaults, and a marvellous range of porcelain and many privately collected items treasured by generations of the Russell family.

These captivating rooms and fascinating antiques show a personal side to a public family that has been instrumental in many significant periods of English history.  


Image for Woburn Abbey Today The 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford

400 years of history

The Abbey has been the home of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford, one of England's most powerful families, since the 1620s. It is currently the home of the 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford and their children. Russell family members have included Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, Lord High Admirals and philosophers over the centuries and provide a direct link to the events of the past that shaped the England of today. 

> Our Family Tree


Image for Woburn Abbey Today One of our views of Venice by Canaletto

Over 250 works of art

View one of the most outstanding collections of art works on public display. These include:

  • The largest private collection of Venetian views painted by Canaletto on public view
  • The Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I
  • Artists such as Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Reynolds, and Van Dyck
  • Artworks by Queen Victoria and Richard Stone

> Art and the Collection


Image for Woburn Abbey Today The Grotto

22 Rooms To Discover

The splendid rooms include:

  • The unique Grotto which dates from the 1630s
  • The State Apartments with original 18th-century architecture
  • The Holland Library which is one of the largest private libraries with an extensive collection of natural history books
  • Underground vaults housing the family's gold and silver collection
  • The Chinese Room with its decorative wallpaper

> Must See Treasures


Image for Woburn Abbey Today Woburn Abbey is an example of Palladian architecture

At The Heart of an English Palladian Home

The Abbey has been at the centre of social and political history which includes tales of political reform, Royal State visits, imprisonment, beheading, grand tours, love affairs and more. Famous house guests have included monarchs, politicians, leading naturalists, famous designers, architects and adventurers. 

> Our Timeline


Love this page?...share it with friends

Events & Exhibitions

Image for Mothering Sunday at The Sculpture Gallery

Mothering Sunday at The Sculpture Gallery

Celebrate Mothering Sunday at The Sculpture Gallery with a bespoke afternoon tea followed by a private guided tour of Woburn Abbey Gardens.
Image for Spring Gardening Skills

Spring Gardening Skills

Let the Woburn Abbey Gardens Team give you the confidence to tackle essential jobs in your own garden with this seasonal session.
Image for Easter Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

Easter Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

A masterclass in Easter flower-arranging with floral expert, Jonathan Moseley.
Image for Carriage Tours April

Carriage Tours April

An exciting experience back by popular demand, enjoy a tour in a historic Landau Carriage around the grounds and gardens.
Image for Easter Bunny Fun

Easter Bunny Fun

to
Woburn Abbey’s Easter Trail will keep children entertained as they hunt for Easter bunnies dotted throughout the Abbey Gardens.
Image for Parkland Tour - April

Parkland Tour - April

Come along on a tour around our beautiful deer park, and experience it as Humphry Repton intended.
Image for Humphry Repton Study Day

Humphry Repton Study Day

Take an in-depth look at the career of Humphry Repton and what made him such a remarkable landscape gardener.
Image for Carriage Tours May

Carriage Tours May

and
Extra dates added due to popular demand! An exciting experience, enjoy a tour in a historic Landau Carriage.
Image for Woburn Abbey Gardens Tour and Lunch

Woburn Abbey Gardens Tour and Lunch

Enjoy the splendour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens through the seasons with our 2017 private garden tour and lunch at The Sculpture Gallery.
Image for Kitchen Gardening

Kitchen Gardening

Learn a variety of skills to take away and use in your own Kitchen Garden.
Image for The Magic of Opera

The Magic of Opera

Internationally renowned Bjorn Dobbelaere to conduct a 21 piece orchestra, whilst Bridget Costello and Marcus Liljedahl will perform a selection of the most popular arias and duets.
Image for Wedding Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

Wedding Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

A masterclass in wedding flower-arranging with floral expert, Jonathan Moseley.
Image for Parkland Tour - May

Parkland Tour - May

Come along on a tour around our beautiful deer park, and experience it as Humphry Repton intended.
Image for Teddy Bear Festival

Teddy Bear Festival

Leading collectors, experts and the top names in the industry will be bringing along a fine selection of rare and famous teddy bears. There will be antique artist and modern bears for you to browse and buy.
Image for Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2017

Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2017

to
After the huge success of the 2016 Garden Show this June we are pleased to announce that tickets can now be purchased for the 8th Woburn Abbey Garden Show taking place on 24th and 25th June 2017. Set against the stunning backdrop of Woburn Abbey, ‘The Gardener’s Garden Show’ offers visitors the best location of any show in the UK, taking place within the 42 acres of Abbey Gardens.
Image for Introduction to Garden Photography

Introduction to Garden Photography

A great opportunity to learn the basics of digital photography
Image for The Lord Chamberlains Men presents the Comedy of Errors

The Lord Chamberlains Men presents the Comedy of Errors

Bring your family, friends a picnic and a blanket to enjoy a fantastic summers evening of outdoor theatre, brought to you by the Lord Chamberlains Men, as the all male cast perform Shakespeare's hilarious farce, The Comedy of Errors.
Image for Woburn Abbey Gardens Tour and Lunch 13th July

Woburn Abbey Gardens Tour and Lunch 13th July

Enjoy the splendour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens through the seasons with our 2017 private garden tour and lunch at The Sculpture Gallery.
Image for Bee Walk

Bee Walk

Discover the importance of attracting bees to your garden and, more importantly, how to attract them.
Image for Garden Safari Week - July

Garden Safari Week - July

to
Calling all Garden Explorers! Come and join us on our Garden Safari this summer holiday.
Image for Parkland Tour - July

Parkland Tour - July

Come along on a tour around our beautiful deer park, and experience it as Humphry Repton intended.
Image for Garden Safari Week - August

Garden Safari Week - August

to
Calling all Garden Explorers! Come and join us on our Garden Safari this summer holiday.
Image for Parkland Tour - August

Parkland Tour - August

Come along on a tour around our beautiful deer park, and experience it as Humphry Repton intended.
Image for Bat Walks

Bat Walks

and
Take an exclusive tour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens at night and learn about the nocturnal activities of the bats living in the gardens.
Image for Bat Walks

Bat Walks

and
Take an exclusive tour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens at night and learn about the nocturnal activities of the bats living in the gardens.
Image for Pruning Study Day

Pruning Study Day

This session is designed to give you a wide range of pruning skills and enable you to get hands on with plant material to gain the confidence with your own garden maintenance.
Image for NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair

NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair

The NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair is an annual event and a highlight of the Woburn calendar. Browse over 50 stalls of inspiring gift ideas beautifully displayed in the Woburn Sculpture Gallery. All proceeds from the event tickets will go to the NSPCC, celebrating it's 31st birthday this year.
Image for Off Road Deer Park Tours

Off Road Deer Park Tours

and
Join the Deer Keepers for a 1.5 hour tour of the Woburn Abbey Deer Park where you will able to get up close to the beautiful deer.
Image for Natalie Williams' Soul Motown Revue

Natalie Williams' Soul Motown Revue

to
The Sculpture Gallery is delighted to welcome back Natalie Williams' Soul Family this November for an exclusive evening of musical entertainment and fine dining.
Image for Off Road Deer Park Tours

Off Road Deer Park Tours

and
Join the Deer Keepers for a 1.5 hour tour of the Woburn Abbey Deer Park where you will able to get up close to the beautiful deer.
Image for Carriage Tours October

Carriage Tours October

and
An exciting experience, enjoy a tour in a historic Landau Carriage around the grounds and gardens of Woburn Abbey.
Image for Christmas Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

Christmas Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

A masterclass in Christmas flower-arranging with floral expert, Jonathan Moseley.
Image for War Notes from Woburn: Remembrance Sunday

War Notes from Woburn: Remembrance Sunday

to
The Sculpture Gallery is delighted to welcome back Lili la Scala this Remembrance Sunday, performing a poignant blend of vintage songs while guests enjoy a traditional two course Sunday lunch.